The atmosphere on the fourth floor, one that permeates the bench rooms, seeps from the demo room where a full wall of sample chair and table legs, in various stages of completion, is displayed, from the binders with photos of completed work by students past and present, from the floor boards as they creek in the same way that they have since students first started walking on them, from the four instructors who are either helping a student of consulting one another as to how best to demonstrate a technique and lastly from the benches and the students standing over them. The atmosphere is one of excellence. It makes the air thick and demands that you slow down as you walk through it.
So what have I done to participate in or contribute to this excellence? Well, I've been flattening this board:
Although most milling will occur on the jointer and planer in the future this exercise is a valuable one for learning how to use a hand plane (setting it up to cut and checking that the blade has been sharpened properly) and as an introduction to the way wood works.
In the four weeks leading up to the hand plane exercise the thirteen of us who began this semester have been drafting. Lots of drafting lap joints, dovetails, splined mortises, tapered dovetails, wedged tenons and more. At some point soon I hope to get my drawings scanned so that I can post them here.